Sunday, December 6, 2009

Show-PAN is Chopin

Growing up one of my most beloved things was spending the weekend with Meme and Apa. They were wise and wonderful; we shared a special relationship. I had my favorite traditions at Meme's house - making pancakes from scratch, playing canasta and flipping through World Book encyclopedias. But perhaps the most vivid memory I have is of my Meme playing piano. The best was when she played Chopin's Minute Waltz and I would sit beside her on the bench and time her to see if she could make it to the end of the piece within the prescribed 60 seconds.

Meme taught me all about Chopin. I could never get over the spelling of his name though. Chopin sounded like Show-PAN but spelled with a Chop?!?!
Imagine my happiness when I realized Warsaw was Chopin's home. His heart is even encased in one of the church columns in Old Town.
Chopin is honored in this enormous city park. It was a rainy, windy day when we were there. But Chopin's music was whistling through the trees nevertheless!
Tazienki Park was phenomenal. We hiked the 10 minutes from Chopin's statue to King Poniatowski's Palace on the Water - literally built in the middle of a river.
We delighted in the nearby ampitheatre where five proud peacocks rule the roost!
Don't miss the peacock sticking his head up from the bleachers. Connor thought this was absolutely hilarious!
I am pretty sure Meme is smiling down from Heaven with my Chopin appreciation in Warsaw. She is teaching me music all these years later! I still hear her Minute Waltz in my head and miss her and love her.

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